PAL expands reach to include more US cities

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Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) plans to expand
operations to other areas of the United States, where there is a huge
Filipino immigrant population.

The carrier is set to fly daily to Honolulu starting December
this year, Maria Socorro Gonzaga, PAL vice president for external
affairs, said last week during a business forum organized by the Center
for Philippine Futuristics Studies & Management Inc.

PAL currently mounts four flights a week to Honolulu and daily
flights are set to begin on Dec. 11, information on the company’s
website showed.

The move comes ahead of flights to New York, where the carrier
will be returning to after economic and feasibility constraints prompted
PAL to scrap flights in 1997, just after one year of operations.

PAL long wanted to increase flights to the US, but had been prevented from doing so since 2008.

That changed when the US Federal Aviation Administration earlier
this year restored the Philippines’ Category 1 status, reflecting safety
reforms undertaken in recent years.

The upgrade also allowed PAL to replace its older Boeing 747
planes with newer and more efficient Boeing 777 aircraft, helping bring
down costs.

PAL’s newly appointed president Jaime Bautista said in a previous
interview that the carrier would focus more of its long-haul resources
on the US market against Europe, where he said it was difficult to
become profitable.

PAL previously announced that it would restart flights to New York, via Vancouver, Canada, in March 15 next year.

The four-times-a-week service—Manila-Vancouver-New York—will operate at Terminal 1 of New York’s JFK International Airport.

Starting March 15, the current daily service between Manila and
Vancouver will spike to 11 flights weekly with three departure times
from Manila—mid-afternoon, early evening and late evening, PAL said.

It added that Manila-Toronto will add a fourth weekly frequency,
increasing capacity on this long-haul route in time for the peak summer
travel period out of Manila.

 | Inquirer Business

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